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Age of Turmoil

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Age of Turmoil

Published 1953

An afternoon and evening in the complicated lives of six teenagers.

Run time 18:36
Producer Crawley Films, Ltd.
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Activities of six adolescents are recorded during one afternoon and evening. Different home situations, ordinary growing pains, e.g., loafing, criticizing, daydreaming are dealt with.

[Ken Smith sez:] This film (part of the Adolescent Development series) was designed for the parents of teenagers -- perhaps its subject matter (adolescence) was considered too controversial for the kids who were experiencing it. Through a series of vignettes, the narrator (Lorne Greene) explains that "glandular changes" may make teens "have unrealistic ideas of their own future" and "seem to spend hours in completely useless activity."
15:09:12:00 - 15:09:36:00
MS high schoolers leaving school; 2 girls walking together stop to talk; quick pan to CU woman waiting in car, calling to girl o.s.; girl puts her off and continues her conversation; CU woman sitting in car, irritated
15:09:36:00 - 15:10:57:00
MCU high schoolers flooding out door after school; camera follows 2 girls as they walk out, talking; MS girls stop as they wait for a friend; VS 3 girls walking home from school, carrying books, talking and laughing; quick pan to MLS house with boys sitting on the front steps, talking
15:10:57:00 - 15:11:35:00
MS 4 teenage boys hanging out in front of house, talking; one boy grabs magazine away from other boy and won't give it back; they begin to wrestle; they chase each other onto porch and continue to horse around; boy sitting in chair points out something in a magazine and the other 3 immediately look over his shoulder to see; CU boys looking at picture of baseball player
15:11:35:00 - 15:12:21:00
MCU car pulls into driveway (4 teenage boys sitting on porch of house in BG); man gets out of car and walks toward house as boys walk over to look at car (one boy rides away on his bicycle); VS 3 boys standing around car, looking at it and talking
15:12:22:00 - 15:12:32:00
MLS 3 teenage girls walking along street, carrying books and talking; camera follows one as she says goodbye and walks toward her house
15:12:32:00 - 15:13:18:00
MS teenage girl walks in front door of house; she drops her school books on chair in entrance then tosses her sweater toward the sofa, missing; she walks through kitchen door; MCU girl opens refrigerator door, takes something out and eats it; she then takes a cake tin off top of refrigerator and sets it on the table; track in to CU she cuts piece of cake, lays knife down and walks away; MS woman walks in door, carrying bag of groceries; spotting the cake on the table she looks irritated, sets down her bag and begins to put cake away
15:13:18:00 - 15:14:14:00
MS teenage girl walks into her bedroom, eating and looking at a magazine; she sits down in front of mirror and begins brushing her hair (pictures of models hung on the wall in BG); CU picture of woman in magazine; CU pan across items on her cosmetics table; MCU girl plays wither her hair, studying picture in magazine; CU girl's hand reaches in box of hair pins; CU girl pins her hair up


Reviewer: JayKay49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 26, 2015
Subject: The Parents Were More Variable Then The Kids
What I get to (and always thought) is the less said the better. If a kid gets enough beatin's before, say, 12, you've done all the work. The rest is just them, and their glands. And there is nothing you can do about that. You can tell the two snotty kids didn't get enough beatin's as kids. If they did, they wouldn't dream of talking back like they did in this movie.

My dad was right when (kiddingly) he said that every kid should get a good beaten once a week or so, whether he deserves it or not - just so he knows who's in charge. (of course he'd never touch us kids, even if we were knocking the house down) Mom did all the discipline - "Joan Crawford style" Sure kept us in line.

Good film with good acting, lovely homes, lovely little town.
Reviewer: blakta2 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 19, 2008
Subject: Times have changed but these ideas still apply
Yes Virginia, times have changed, but teens today face the same fears and problems teens faced then...they're just drastically more amplified. For example, the girls focus on fashion magazines in the 50's is zillion times more intense today as teenaged girls are now inundated with hundreds of thousands of images in any given month. The tips for working with the kids then work just as well today. Sometimes you just need to tweak the idea a little, adjusting for the problems of today.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 25, 2006
Subject: Lots of Common sense
There is a lot of good common sense in this film on raising the early 1953 adolescent. In our more complex socio-economic world, it is probably more difficult today for both youngsters and their parents
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2003
Subject: Age of Turmoil
This 50s film tries to help parents understand the psychological development of teenagers, by showing the Friday evening activities of six average specimens. We watch them go through their evenings and experience very minor problems, while the narrator gives a constant stream of interpretation and information. Some of it seems fairly accurate and some of it is less so. Some comments seem downright unsympathetic and judgemental such as the assertion that teens spend "hours in useless activity" or that one girl's dream to be a ballet dancer is totally unrealistic. Being a 50s film, there is a charming naivete about it. The "problems" these teens have seem miniscule compared with the problems of today's adolescents. Of course, other films of this period let us know that this was probably idealistic even for the 50s.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavorite - December 16, 2002
Subject: It's all about the teens
A somewhat more balanced overview of what teenagers are going through during their pre-puberty years. It's quite interesting how this film doesn't really screw things up. It says some pretty realistic things of what parents should expect. (Well, ok, the bobbin hairstyle is a bit much). To this point though, that the movie suffers by being a bit too bland. After all these are normal kids we are looking at, so nothing too exciting is presented. But it is worth looking into as a nice balance to the warped teen guidance films we've grown to love.
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